Exploring inner as well as outer space…
Capsula is Yosi Shamay from Israel… Prior to this debut album, he has only released three tracks – on two different downtempo compilations… But oh, what tracks! All tracks were distinct stand-out tracks on the compilations they were on… So when Ajana Records announced this album, I was jumping around in circles – as this guy has a big fat plus in my cool-book… Now let’s see if the album lives up to my bloated expectations…
Let me take you thru the tracks…
#01: Mulholland Dub
“I had a dream about this place… I want you to go back to work tomorrow. You were re-casting the lead actress anyway ... audition many girls for the part. When you see the girl that was shown to you earlier today, you will say ‘This is the girl’. The rest of the cast can stay - that is up to you, but that lead girl is not up to you! ... I don't know what my name is. I don't know who I am!” This opening track is credited to someone called Radius… I have no idea who that is, but I’m guessing it’s a Capsula alias!? Anyway, as the title suggests this is dubby, smokey downtempo – packed to the rim with samples from the excellent David Lynch flick Mulholland Drive ... Actually, the pace is pretty fast here, and there’s a certain feeling of anxiety hidden within the complex, multilayered music… The weird ass Lynch samples, doesn’t exactly make the track cosier… But that was never the intention, I reckon… A nice opening track!
#02: Retro Inversion
“I remember thinking from being a being a small child, you know from twirling round and round and round trying to change our perceptions, our level of control from taking something from the outside and putting it in, and being in control of changing your consciousness…” As with most Capsula tracks we get lengthy samples – but they are very well-fitting, and this one is also pretty cool… A very trippy, organic downtempo track here… Dubby-slash-jazzy in structure, but with a distinct Posford’esque spin to things… Could have easily been on one of the old Twisted chill compilations… They were good – and so is this track! Especially the first half…
#03: Don't Wake Up
The intro here must be a piss-take on the boring, floating new age kinda elevator music… Very dreamy and fluffy – not to mention boring! Luckily we’re treated to a couple of nifty little computer FX and psychedelic twirls in the background… Slowly the track gears up, and eventually gains more pace through a raging guitar-solo, before it ends in some subtle breakz… A held-back frenzy really! An ok track, but surely not among the best here…
#04: Gates Of Heaven
“The kingdom of heaven is within you! And where Jesus descended into heaven, he went right into the middle of himself, he disappeared, you know! Like the gates of heaven they are pearls. Leads us into funny gates, gates covered in pearls […] The gates of heaven are pearls! Each one is one pearl, and you know a pearl has a very thin hole through it for the thread to go in. And that’s why the camel […] eye of the needle, because you have to become no one to go through that hole!” This very harmonic track starts with another lengthy sample – this time a biblical one… Spoken by some familiar stoner! This is a very peaceful, organic piece – complete with acoustic guitars and soothing, harmonic melodies drifting in the background… Yeah – this is chillum music… Perfect for astral projection sessions or meditation… Delightfully executed by Capsula!
#05: The Chemists Choice
“Who built these then? The pyramids of Giza and some of the other great structures of the ancient world which are mathematically, geometrically perfection. Who built them? Bill and Ethel in the tent? I mean, who did it? It was done by high intelligence. No one knows where they came from!” As the title suggests, this track takes on a more chemical-friendly approach to downtempo – still dubby in structure, but with a more refined, trancy touch… The percussion is also more adept here, and we’re treated to some old-school melody construction… The sampling is cool as always, and before the track ends we’re exposed to another dose of extraterrestrial teachings: “Knowledge is neutral. Technology is neutral. It is how you use it that is positive or negative!” A nice little track, but again not an instant winner in my book…
#06: Inorganic Creatures (Laugh Of The Goblin)
The aptly named laugh-track takes a radical departure from the previous tracks, and we’re not entering the realms of psychedelic world-music… This sound like something Ben Watkins could have composed on a bender – or something off the latest Shpongle album… Tweaky, joyous, Eastnern-influenced world music soaked in dub, electro and 45rmp tango… Trippy ethno-vibes packed with a lot of goblin laughs! How’s that for trying to describe a track? I give up – listen for yourself! I assure you, you’re in for quite a ride… A very unique track – nicey nice!
#07: I Know That I Know
This track was already released on the Peak Records compilation Chilling Goddess which I reviewed earlier this year. Here are my thoughts from back then: “We are all so fascinated with recording things. Taking photographs, writing them down and above all remembering them (…) Because you see if you don’t remember anything, you don’t know you’re there. A person who has total amnesia and lived in a split second only wouldn’t know he was there.” Yosi Shamay brings forth a more psychedelic edge into the chill spectre… This is twisted stuff, and one of the main reasons for that are the very trippy samples… “But suddenly to know that you’re there, you need an echo…There was a young man who said though; it seems that I know that I know. What I would like to see is the eye that knows me when I know that I know that I know” … Try figuring that one out while trippin’! … Amazing track!
#08: Human Mentality
“Out there somewhere, buried or secreted away in a place that might still be found. It is said, and has been said for years, there are twenty thousand hits of Blue Sandoz… LSD!” On this track we launch straight into a south-east Asian uplifting string-arrangement… Ethno-downbeat with native chanting and singing – with additional psychedelic tweaks, twists and turns… Fuck me; this is so different from what I’m used to hearing… Yosi really has no musical boundaries – and that’s so cool… I believe the sample is Art Bell interviewing Terrance McKenna, but I’m not certain… Anyway, this is truly a magical track…
#09: Second Attention
“About fifty thousand years ago some crucial transition occurred whereby these previously separate intelligences somehow came together. Cross-fertilized each other and produced new beginnings of characteristics of human […]” We take it down a notch, for this emotional, tribal piece of downtempo… Emphasis has been shifted towards the rhythm section, though the melodies are far from forgotten… A very well-produced track, but doesn’t stand out as much as, say, the previous track… Still pretty damn good though!
#10: Ride The Wave
This is the official closing track – and we’re riding the wave out to sea… Don’t expect surf music though, as this is Mother Nature and King Neptune battling space ships… A strange opus of nature vs. space… A fun little track… But wait, there is more…
#11: Hidden Track
“My dream has always been to bring something here from there. And […] things travel well from there to here are ideas, and I’m not an artist so I couldn’t think, so this is a psychedelic idea. There are millions of these kinds of ideas swimming in the psychedelic ocean” This track is not included in the official tracklist, so I guess it’s an added bonus… And I actually like it better than the official closing track in all it’s acoustic-slash-industrial, bleak atmosphere… The perfect way to end the album!
Phew – what a ride! Now this is definitely a very noteworthy album… The sheer magnitude of some of these tracks here – it’s simply impressive! The Shpongle-link is evident, but it’s too easy to just write this off, as a Shpongle-clone…. It’s not! This is the work of a very talented guy – seeking inspiration in all kinds of music. All kept within a framework of spiritual and psychedelic downbeat. And I’m damn impressed! Well, I kinda knew what to expect from the compilation tracks, but still – this album fully lived up to my huge expectations! I like most tracks here, but obviously some are better than others – and a few are even worthy of becoming legendary! I’m sure they will! Some people will most likely be put off by the excessive use of voice samples – and let’s face it; with all the voice samples, Capsula is like the Space Tribe of chill-out music, but I really think he can pull it off… I wouldn’t want it any other way with any of these tracks!
Whereas the music is top drawer all the way through, it’s a shame that Ajana Records didn’t go to the same lengths with the cover finish. I mean, the track-times are wrong and an extra proof-reading would have taken care of the most obvious spelling mistakes… It’s not cool misspelling the album title, now is it? Also, I’m not a big fan of the cover art which seems a little too messy for my tastes! But hey – screw all that, it’s the music that’s important here! And yeah – this is amazing music! I really, really like it! Recommended to all fans of eclectic, psychedelic downtempo! It’s a safe buy! Enjoy!
Favourites: 2, 4(!), 6, 7(!!), 8(!), 11